Thanksgiving is traditionally a time for families to get together, feast on turkey and make new memories. As an independent retailer, it is also a perfect time to reflect on the past year and count your blessings.
As a small business owner, things may not always seem perfect. Maybe you occasionally work longer hours than you’d like (especially at this time of year!) and maybe sales lag from time to time.
But think about it. There’s probably a reason you embraced your entrepreneurial spirit and started your own company. Whether it was the freedom and flexibility of working for yourself or a passion for paint and decorating, you are currently living the life you once dreamed about.
So this Thanksgiving, when your family goes around the table and it’s your turn to give thanks, here are five reasons to be grateful.
Your customers. It takes a lot of courage to order inventory, stock your shelves and open your doors for business. The truth is, there are other paint and decorating stores in your town or city, whether they be big box stores or other independent retailers. The fact that customers choose yours is a testament to your hard work and shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Your staff. As organized, industrious, driven, passionate, determined and efficient as you may be, you can’t do it all alone. Whether you have a few trusted sidekicks or a relatively large supporting cast, those people stocking your shelves, serving your customers and helping pay your bills are essential to your success. Your employees may just be working to support themselves and their families, but they are also contributing to the livelihood of you and yours.
The economy. It seems like a long time ago already, but the pivotal recession years at the end of the last decade could have gone other way. In the years since, unemployment has been on the decline while spending has steadily increased. This is good news for any company, but especially independent retailers. Sure, you may have disappointing days or slow months, but the fact that you have a shingle to hang is something to be celebrate.
Your independence. There are countless benefits of working for yourself, and freedom, flexibility and full control are near the top of the list. With no stockholders to please, no rules to adhere to and no big box formulas to follow, you have the privilege – and advantage – of running your business the way you want. Sure, employees and customers may voice their opinions from time to time (and it’s sometimes in your best interest to listen!), but at the end of the day the final decisions are yours. And that autonomy is priceless.
Your role in the community. You may see yourself as a businessperson first and foremost, but your contributions to the community run far deeper than just commerce. Yes, you’re providing employment and pumping revenue back into the local economy. But you’re also offering products that people want and need, and serving as a source of experience and knowledge for others. You also provide an alternative for people who choose to shop local and avoid the big box stores. Your position in the community is one you should both embrace and appreciate. And, of course, be thankful for.